Off Season Training – Week 4 & Shin Splints

I really, really hated this week’s training.  Not the training itself, the pain I suffered all week.  Each session had a hurdle to jump to complete (or half complete) the session

  • Monday – Weights/Strength Training – Session was good and was able to perform the lower body exercises now that my ankle is improving.
  • Tuesday – Eli joined me for a 40 minute run.  It was the beginning of a bad running week.  The running itself was good, the allergic reaction I was still having from the immunization needles was driving me crazy, any time my heart rate went up (even just a fast pace walk), I would glow in a red rash with pins and needles attacking me from every angle of my body.  I also had someone to scratch my back each time I stopped running because the pain was too much.
  • Wednesday – 30 minute Wind Trainer cycling session.
  • Thursday – Weights/Strength Training
  • Friday – The run that ruined me, meant to be a 40 minute session, I left work early to be able to fit this run in before seeing Jersey Boys at QPAC.  Maybe it was too soon after eating, I had continued stitches in my stomach, enough to give the effect of toppling over, after another 15 minutes of pushing through the pain, my right shin began to ache, and ache, and ache. 2km away from home, I limped it back.  Rested on the couch with some ice for 10 minutes and rushed to get ready to head out.
  • Weekend – I took the weekend off training to give my shin splint a chance to rest and recover.

Being the second instance I’ve had shin splints, these are some tips I’ve found have helped me though the pain and continue training:

  1. Don’t work through the pain – At the first symptoms of shin splints, stay off your feet, or at the very least, decrease your mileage.
  2. Ice Shins – Ice is the treatment of choice for reducing the inflammation of any sports injury, and shin splints are no exception.
  3. Tape it – Taping up your shin with a bandage or with a sleeve that fits over the lower leg may be comforting for shin splints, because it compresses the muscles and permits less muscle movement, especially at night during your sleep.
  4. Take some ibuprofen – These medications bring down the swelling and inflammation that may come with these injuries.
  5. Stay off the cement – Run on the grass or sand help soften the blow as your foot lands on hard ground.
  6. Don’t run on hills – Running up and down hills may contribute to or aggravate shin splints.
  7. Cross Train – One way to give rest to shin splints without cutting out exercise altogether is to switch to another type of activity. If you’re a runner, add some swimming, stationary cycling, or other activities that don’t impact your shins as much as running.
  8. Learn how to prevent the injury – Prevent the injury from occurring in the first place. Always warm up before exercising. Doing so relaxes the muscles and gets blood flowing to the tissues. Warm muscles are less likely than cold muscles to be injured. Warm up with a few minutes of walking or gentle stretching.